Posts in Parties
Happy Mother's Day + Mommy & Me Cooking Class
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand

Last week Kim Hildebrand and I hosted a cooking class + mini photo session and it was EPIC! We cooked, we laughed, we ate. It was such a fun class. Not only was it a fun class, but the girls really pitched in and did 90% of the work themselves.

Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand

I set up the table the same way I do it for every cooking class with a giant table down the middle of the bay of the fire station. After we’d all cooked together, we went to the bay for our ‘family brunch’ and all ate together. The girls had the best time sitting together, chatting, and then diving into cupcakes from Trophy Cupcakes.

Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand

The menu for the class was simple. Pearl and I met the girls at the door with a Vanilla Float made with DRY Sparkling Vanilla and the moms with a glass of champagne. Have you tried a float with DRY Sparkling?? It’s just a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with DRY Sparkling Vanilla. It’s so ridiculously good. The Vanilla soda isn’t as sweet as most sodas so it compliments the ice cream perfectly - it still forms the little crust that’s on the top of the ice cream when you make a soda float. Let’s be honest, that’s really the best part.

Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand

The girls then made us all Ham & Cheese Puffs - basically on their own! I gave instructions and each girl took on a different job from slicing ingredients to rolling puff pastry to brushing the egg wash on everything. It was adorable how excited each girl got about the tasks - and even more adorable how they all wanted to help in the kitchen! It was proof that if we give our kids age appropriate jobs, they can totally cook dinner for us. If I can get your kids to help AND/OR cook for you once a week then my job is done and I will retire.

Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand

I don’t always believe in making dessert. But this was a special occasion and we needed something fabulous to finish off our brunch. My friends at Trophy made us Strawberry Cupcakes - a classic that’s always a hit. It’s the most delicious cupcake I have possibly had in a long time. It has strawberry frosting on top & a strawberry jam filling - I did not mean to eat the whole thing, but there you go. It disappeared.

Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand

Are you interested in coming to a Mommy & Me class? If so, leave a comment below - it would be a blast to do this again soon! If you want to come to a kid-free cooking class, sign up for notifications on Eventbrite and we’ll find out as soon as it’s posted!

Ali Hedin Mommy & Me Cooking Class | photo by Kim Hildebrand
Ham & Cheese Puffs | The simplest Mother's Day Brunch
Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch

Mother’s Day at our house is almost always the same; we go to the Pike Place Market, buy flowers, doughnuts, and walk the market. Then we’ll pop into one of my favorite restaurants where Mr. Hedin has never made a reservation and still every year we manage to get into the brunch service and have a marvelous time.

Often we’ll pick up something for dinner while we’re there before we head home. We’ve been known to host a dinner in the evening for friends and family. This year we’ll still not be living in our real house so I’m not sure what will happen this year.

Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch

If your plans are also up in the air, try hosting a fabulously simple brunch that your kids could even make for you! Have them watch the video below and they can make it for you! Don’t forget to tag #weeknightsociety on Instagram if you make something so I can see how fabulously it turns out!

HamPuffs4.jpg
Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch
Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch
Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch

HAM & CHEESE PUFFS

serves 4

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 350. Roll out puff pastry and cut each sheet into 4 pieces 

 

STEP 2

Divide ham and cheese on top of the pastry.  

 

STEP 3

Beat the egg yolk and milk together and brush the edges of the pastry with the egg yolk mixture. 

 

STEP 4

Bring up the pastry corners and pinch them together.  Pinch down the sides where the egg wash is painted on.  

 

STEP 5

Brush the tops of the pastry with beaten egg yolk.  Bake 10 mins until cheese is bubbly

 

STEP 6

In a jar or a small bowl combine mustard, honey, olive oil, vinegar, and parsley.  Shake vigorously.  

½ lb ham, cut into cubes

8 oz gruyere cheese, cut into cubes

2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg yolk, beaten

2 tbs milk

 

4 cups mixed greens

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

½ cup olive oil

Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch

When you’re creating a super simple brunch like this, then don’t bother cooking a dessert yourself - especially when Trophy Cupcakes can do such a marvelous job. The new featured flavor for Mother’s Day is Lemon Raspberry Rose - is anything more heavenly than rose scented buttercream??? No. No, there isn’t.

And for a simple cocktail, combine chilled champagne + chambord in a cocktail glass and pop in a raspberry.

Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch
Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch

Whether you’re a mother, a step-mother, a god-mother, or a child of a mother - I hope you have a wonderful day.

Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch

Pin this for later!

 
Ali Hedin | Mother's Day Brunch
 
Greens, Eggs, & Ham | Sheet Pan Easter Dinner in 20 minutes
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner

Easter is right around the corner! It’s late this year which means we’ve had extra time to plan for Easter. Did you use the extra time? I did not. I totally forgot until just recently. In case you forgot too, I came up with the simplest Easter dinner that has ever been an Easter dinner. Why? You ask? Why is this the easiest Easter dinner in the history of Easter dinners? It cooks on one sheet pan in the oven for about 20 minutes. DONE.

It leaves you plenty of time to egg hunt or go to church or do what ever else you like to do at Easter. Sleep in if you want. You’ll still get an epic Easter dinner on the table - or make it brunch. You do you.

Just don’t forget the cocktail. Scroll to the bottom for this epic cucumber drink you won’t want to miss out on.

Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner

WATCH HOW IT’S MADE!

Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner
Ali Hedin | Greens, Eggs, & Ham
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner

GREENS, EGGS, & HAM

serves 4

STEP 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

 

Chop vegetables and toss with 2 tbs olive oil.  Spread out vegetables on a cookie sheet.  Slice the ham into one-inch slices and brush one side with 1 tbs peach jam.  Snuggle the ham into the veggies and pop into the oven. Let roast for 15 minutes. 

    

STEP 2

Mix vegetable dressing by combining balsamic, remaining olive oil, mustard and remaining peach jam in a jar.  Shake well and set aside. 

 

STEP 3

Remove sheet pan from the oven and make 4 small wells.  Crack and egg into each well and sprinkle tomatoes on top of everything.  Return the pan to the oven and cook about 5 minutes until the eggs are set.  

 

STEP 4

When everything is cooked, dress the vegetables and serve everything together.  

1 lb ham

1 bunch asparagus

2 cups green beans

1 summer squash, chopped

1/3 cup peach jam

¼ cup olive oil

4 eggs

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

GreensEggsHamMainMenu.jpg
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner + Cucumber Spritz

CUCUMBER SPRITZ

serves 4

2 cucumbers, peeled

8 ounces vodka

club soda

1 cucumber for garnish

In a blender, puree the cucumbers until smooth. Press the puree through cheese cloth until all that remains is a smooth liquid.

In a glass filled with ice, mix 2 ounces cucumber water with 2 ounces vodka. Top with club soda and garnish with a cucumber wheel.


Pin these for later!

Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner
Ali Hedin | Spring Easter Dinner

Oscar Popcorn Party + the easiest popcorn bars
Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party

Watching the Oscars is so fun. So glamorous. So exciting to see who will win! I haven’t seen many of the movies - unless you count the animated series where I am literally rocking the category! It never seems to matter to me if I do know any of the movies; I love seeing the stars in their gowns, the beautiful jewelry, and all of the glitz.

When Pearl was three I had the Oscars on and she came and sat beside me. She was enamored with the same things I am - the glitz, the glamour, the spectacle. Practically one minute into it, she declared “I’m going to be up there one day.” Who knows if that will ever be true. But isn’t that what we all dreamed of as a little girl? Getting to walk a red carpet in a stunning, custom made gown, loaded with gorgeous jewels and drinking champagne?

It’s no movie star party without popcorn. All of the popcorn. I could literally make this my dinner. And I have - on occasion - made popcorn my dinner! This is the night to take popcorn up a notch with every mix-in you can find.

Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party
Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party
Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party
Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party

There’s a simple way to host this party - make a popcorn bar! You can even do this for just your little family - the kids will think it’s a real kick. If you’re making this for the kids, then choose toppings that they will like. But if you’re doing it for a crowd, you can get a little more interesting and daring. Unless your kids are daring? Mine are not. Mine would pick only the candy and nothing salty or savory, but I cannot recommend enough adding bacon bits. And wasabi peas. And toasted pecans. OMG they are so good!

Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party

Here’s the ultimate (and incomplete) list of popcorn mix-ins:

  • Mini Chocolate Chips

  • Toasted Pecans

  • Wasabi Peas

  • Bacon Bits

  • Rasinettes

  • Crumbled Butterfingers

  • Goldfish Crackers

  • M’n’M’s

  • Crushed Oreo Cookies

  • Mini Marshmallows

  • Parmesan Cheese

Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party

What movies are you rooting for? I’ve only seen a few so I’m not really in for the movies. I’m in for the popcorn and the gowns. Tell me how you celebrate! Are you a fancy gowns type party person or a sweat pants type person? Can’t wait to hear!

Ali Hedin | Easy Popcorn Oscar Party
Ali Hedin | Oscar Party &  Simple Popcorn Bars

EASIEST POPCORN BARS

These are basically like Rice Krispie Treats but with popcorn which makes them delicious and - in my opinion - better than your basic Rice Krispie Treat. Sprinkled with a little salt over the top they are EPIC. There are no tricks, no secrets, etc. It’s just easy.

4 tablespoons butter

10 ounces marshmallows

1/2 cup un-popped popcorn

STEP 1

In an air popper, pop the popcorn until totally popped. Let cool.

STEP 2

In a pan, melt together butter and marshmallows over medium heat until totally melted.

STEP 3

Combine the popped pop corn and the marshmallow mixture until totally coated. Spread in a greased 9x12 pan and pack in a little bit but don’t push too hard. You don’t want to break the popcorn. Let rest about 1 hour until cooled completely. Cut and serve.

 
Ali Hedin makes easy Popcorn Bars (+ recipe!)
 


Valentine Cocktail Party + 3 simple appetizer recipes
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party

There are so many options for how to spend Valentine’s Day, but a fun way to celebrate with all of your friends is with a simple cocktail party - after all, Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday this year! Instead of celebrating just as couples, invite everyone over for drinks and small bites and celebrate together. This is especially great if some of your group is ‘coupled up’ and some of your group isn’t. And the planner-ahead-ers can pop over before their dinner reservation!

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party

I have found when you’re hosting a party that the best thing you can do for appetizers is pick three good ones and go ALL IN! So be prepared to make tons of them because no one will dig into a partially empty buffet. I usually make one batch of each of these per every 10 people. But if you are cheese lovers, then maybe add a little more.

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Baked Camembert
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Baked Camembert
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Baked Camembert
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Baked Camembert

BAKED CAMEMBERT

1 wheel of camembert cheese

10 sprigs rosemary

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a bed of rosemary sprigs on a baking sheet and place the unwrapped wheel of cheese on top.

Bake 30-35 minutes until the cheese browns on top. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes.

Move the cheese to a serving dish and discard the cooked rosemary branches. Drizzle the top with honey and sprinkle with walnuts.

Serve with slices of bread or crackers.

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party

I found all of these serving platters at Anko - my new favorite obsession because everything is darling and really well priced. I picked up these pink platters because they’re pink but not PINK. I was friends with a guy who used to call PINK menopause pink because when he was growing up in the south, every woman around 50 years old remodeled her kitchen and added those pink appliances that were so hot for a while. It was the ‘60’s after all. Ever since then I have been super picky about my color pink. I DO NOT WANT menopause pink in my life.

These are not. These are awesome. There are dinner plates and bowls too.

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Pesto Gorgonzola
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Pesto Gorgonzola
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Pesto Gorgonzola

PESTO GORGONZOLA

Undoubtably the simplest appetizer you will ever make. Two ingredients; ten minutes; served hot or cold!

1/2 cup pesto

1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese

1 baguette, sliced

In bowl, mix together the pesto and gorgonzola until evenly mixed. Spread on the top of toasted bread. Toast again for 2-3 minutes in a broiler - or serve cold. Delicious either way.

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Candy Cocktail

CANDY COCKTAIL

1 packet grape poprocks

slice of lemon

1 tablespoon chambord

champagne

Rub the edge of a champagne coupe with the slice of lemon and rim with poprocks. Pour in chambord and top with champagne. Serve quickly!

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party | Candy Cocktail

I love combining new things with my collection of vintage barware. These champagne coupes are from the 1950’s and I adore them. I use them all the time because there is literally never a time when gold rimmed champagne coupes aren’t appropriate. If you can find some yourself, I highly encourage you to grab them! I set them on top of a marble board from Anko. I like to have everything grouped together - the marble is a great landing place for glassware ESPECIALLY if you have marble countertops. The slab creates a spot that’s unique but won’t damage your real marble counters in the event anyone spills.


Pin these for later!

Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party
Hedin Simple Valentine Cocktail Party

Family Valentine Game Night + Heartthrob Pasta Recipe
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner

There is not only one good way to spend Valentine’s Day but I think this is the best way - with your family at home. This is the best way for loads of reasons: 1. Going out for Valentine’s Day is expensive. 2. Most restaurants have a prix fix menu, servers that are grumpy, and are overly busy. 3. Your kids will feel super special if you spend this day with them instead of out on a date. 4. You can go out on a date tomorrow night when everything is back to normal and you can get a seat at a restaurant.

For our family game night I made a fun dinner everyone will eat - but also made it a little bit cheeky and really leaned into the ‘valentine’ theme. Kids love it. And, let’s be honest, I love it too.

HeartthrobPastaRecipeDetailPage.jpg
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner

Our family’s new favorite game is this hilarious combination of pictionary and being blindfolded - it’s called Googly Eyes. It is hilarious! You roll to land on what color glasses you’ll wear while you attempt to draw something as simple as popcorn. The glasses make it surprisingly challenging. Unless you are Pearl and I - we are a dream team.

Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner

HEARTTHROB PASTA

serves 4

STEP 1

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Slice the beets in half and add them to the water as it begins to boil.  When the water has come to a boil, add the pasta.

 

STEP 2

When the pasta is nearly cooked, turn the heat off and let rest for 30 minutes.  

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

 

STEP 3

Unroll the package of crescent dough and press together all of the seams.  Slice the dough into strips.  Twist the dough and form it into a heart.  

 

Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

 

STEP 4

Heat a skillet with the olive oil.  Cook the peppers, onion, and garlic over medium heat until softened. Remove the beets from the pasta, remove the skin with a paper towel (by rubbing it off), chop them and add them to the skillet.

 

STEP 5

Drain the pasta – reserving at least one cup of pasta water – and toss the pasta with the peppers.  Add the pasta water and toss until a sauce has formed.  Remove from heat and sprinkle parmesan on top.  

          

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 sweet onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbs olive oil

2 beets

½ lb pasta

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 package crescent dough

Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner
HeartthrobPastaMainMenu2.jpg
Ali Hedin | Family Valentine's Game Night Dinner

CUPID SPRITZ

1 ounce pomegranate juice

1 ounce vodka

DRY Sparkling Lavender

In a glass filled with ice, layer vodka and pomegranate juice. Top with DRY Sparkling and serve! For those without booze, just skip the vodka and don’t forget to garnish with a cherry.


THIS IS A SPONSORED POST. ALEXANDRA HEDIN HAS RECEIVED PAYMENT OR PRODUCTS IN EXCHANGE FOR PROMOTING. ALL OPINIONS STATED ARE MY OWN AND I ONLY PROMOTE PRODUCTS AND COMPANIES I LOVE.

weeknight party | super bowl
Ali Hedin Super Bowl Party

Are you hosting a Super Bowl party this year?  It's such a fun excuse to have a party.  The struggle of course, is that it's an all day type thing.  You start at kick off, claim your spot on the couch, and it lasts until well after the awards ceremony.  

Ali Hedin Super Bowl Party

Here's how I'm making Super Bowl super this year.

Ali Hedin Super Bowl Party
Ali Hedin Super Bowl Party
Ali Hedin Super Bowl Party
Ali Hedin Super Bowl Party
 

Shop the party

 

2 Perfect Champagne Cocktails for New Year's Eve
Ali Hedin | Champagne Cocktails
Ali Hedin | Champagne Cocktails
Ali Hedin | Champagne Cocktails

Ali Hedin | Champagne Cocktails
Ali Hedin | Champagne Cocktails
Ali Hedin | Champagne Cocktails
Cocktails, PartiesAlexandra Hedin
Champagne Toast to the New Year + Champagne Risotto
Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year

Is champagne ubiquitous for New Year’s just because it’s bubbly and festive? I hadn’t really thought of it before, but it must be, right? I love a good glass of champagne but I didn't know that until I actually ever had a glass of Dom Perignon. I was 22 so it’s not like I had to wait forever to get a decent glass of bubbles. Before that I’d had a glass of Cooks. Ok, possibly a bottle. But even typing that right now gave me a headache. Good champagne makes the world of difference.

Good champagne is really remarkable. Like life changing. Good champagne is so worth the money. Just don’t waste it on people who don’t like it. And don’t mix the good stuff. If you’re going to make it into a cocktail, then buy prosecco - same flavor profile, similar taste, not all of the sugar of cheap champagne, and WAY cheaper.

Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year
Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year
Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year
Ali Hedin Champagne Risotto

CHAMPAGNE RISOTTO

serves 4

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

½ cup butter, divided

¼ lb chanterelle mushrooms

2 tbs olive oil

2 cup Arborio rice

2 cup champagne

4 cups room temperature seafood stock

½ cup parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

8 large sea scallops

 

STEP 1

In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbs butter & 2 tbs olive oil. Cook mushrooms over medium heat until tender.  Remove from the pan and set aside. (5 mins)

 

STEP 2

In the same pan, melt another 2 tbs olive oil with 2 tbs butter.  Cook shallot and garlic until softened (4 mins)

 

STEP 3

Stir Arborio rice into the pan and stir until all of the kernels are coated in oil.

 

STEP 4

Pour in one cup of champagne and stir constantly to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  When most of the champagne has evaporated, add the second cup and stir until that liquid has evaporated.

 

STEP 5

Pour in one cup of stock and stir until completely incorporated. When most of the stock has dissolved, add another cup of stock.  Continue until all of the stock has been added.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

STEP 6

Remove from heat and stir in mushrooms, remaining butter and parmesan cheese.  

 

STEP 7

Bring a dry skillet to high heat.  Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.  Melt 2 tbs butter in the pan and place the scallops into the melted butter.  

 

Cook 1-2 minutes until browned.  Flip and cook 2 minutes on the other side.  Scallops are properly cooked when slightly firm to the touch.  

     

 

Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year
Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year
Ali Hedin | Champagne New Year
Vintage Christmas + the best fondue recipe
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas

Can you tell I’m feeling nostalgic for our own house? Soon we’ll have a great new house that will be amazing - especially at Christmas - but until then, I’m posting these darling photos from our old house and how cute we were.

Our original house was a 1940’s with a few “mid century” architectural details. I leaned into the vibe and hosted a little family cocktail party with champagne cocktails and a really delicious fondue. Even without a mid century home, you can still host a fun little cocktail party with mid century vibes.

Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas

RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE

1 scoop raspberry sorbet (about one ounce)

1 tablespoon chambord

champagne

raspberries

In each glass, pop a scoop of sorbet and a tablespoon of chambord. Top with champagne until full. Drop a raspberry in each glass.

Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas

THE BEST FONDUE

The trick with this fondue is that you need to keep it warm. It will set up if you let it get cold as we’re basically just dealing with warmed cheese.

8 ounces shredded gruyere cheese

8 ounces shredded swiss cheese

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white wine

1 teaspoon brandy

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

Toss shredded cheeses with flour until totally combined.

In a large pot, bring wine, lemon juice, and whole garlic cloves to a low boil. Slowly add the cheese, whisking the entire time. Continue whisking until smooth. Stir in brandy and transfer to a fondue pot. Serve with sliced bread, cooked red potatoes, and honey crisp apple slices.

Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas
Ali Hedin | Vintage Christmas